A client of mine asked if changing the theme on their website would give them better SEO.
Everyone wants to rank better in Google, right?
I buried the lead with the header image but maybe the more important part is the WHY.
I discuss that in the podcast and down below.
The answer is “No” (with the quotation marks). Google doesn’t see your theme. They are looking at your content, your theme is just fancy window dressing to them. No human at Google looks at your site and says “My, that’s a pretty slider you have in the header image – let’s put you as #1 in our search results“. Instead it’s a spider that crawls your site looking at words and links and things (like schema).
But then again, a bad theme might be holding you back. Is your content searchable by Google? Are you blocking spiders and bots? Do you have a proper sitemap and is that sitemap registered with Google?
Remember, your end game with SEO isn’t just getting more eyeballs on your site, it’s converting visitors to proper leads through Calls to Action, Lead Magnets and so on.
So, what does a proper theme do?
Great question. A properly setup WordPress theme will allow you to create beautiful content, categorize that content, give it the proper canonical links, metatags and meta descriptions and set your reader up for a great experience. Do I have to mention that it better be Mobile Responsive? A theme is primarily for the benefit of the viewer.
That said, under the hood a proper theme with certain additional plugins will be able to edit or modify those metatags and descriptions. I love Yoast for that.
You didn’t notice, but I quietly mentioned schema above. This goes hand in hand with Facebook’s Open Graph and Metadata. Here’s the source code (the part that Google sees) for this post.
Don’t let that scare you. With a properly setup site, theme, and plugins this stuff becomes almost automatic.
For my client, they have a properly setup theme so I advised them to setup better Calls to Action and Lead Magnets that will convert more visitors. That and keep on creating new and interesting content – that’s something you should never stop doing!
What’s a Lead Magnet? If I’m asking you for your email what do you get in return? It better be something of value, right? That could be a 7 page report on “How to sell your home for top dollar in today’s marketplace“. My biggest Lead Magnet is a free white paper on how to set up a Lead Magnet, how meta is that?
BONUS: Looking for a properly setup theme, with all the tools for great SEO? Here’s your button:
(yeah that’s another call to action)
He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.